When it comes to cases for the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro, there are some fantastic alternatives. If you prefer Apple's Magic Keyboard, the company also has a new version. Which, at a certain time, appeared to be the only way for people to get the new large tablet, even if they already had one.
Last year, Apple released the Magic Keyboard for both the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, featuring a unique design, built-in trackpad, and an additional USB-C port.
Although it may not be as well-equipped as some other third-party folio cases, Apple's price is just what you'd expect: big. As a result, it's understandable that many people expected the case to work with at least a few potential iPad Pro models in the future.
Apple, on the other hand, shook things up a little this year when it unveiled the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro with its mini-LED display. The design improvement resulted in a slightly thicker body, which would likely be unnoticed by the owner in everyday usage.
Because the original Magic Keyboard wasn't built for the slightly thicker iPad Pro, it was deemed unusable with the new tablet. Many people raised their eyes in surprise as a result of this.
Many people didn't plan to have to update so soon after paying $350 for a product that was just a year old. Not an Apple accessory designed specifically for a computer that, to be honest, wasn't changing all that much.
Even if it takes years, the design change is unavoidable. But for many, a 0.5mm increase in thickness is unlikely to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a new Magic Keyboard.
The silver lining is that Apple has explained the situation, and owners of the original Magic Keyboard will not be required to switch to the new accessory if they purchase the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Although the old Magic Keyboard won't provide a precise match, Apple claims it will still hold and secure the new tablet. It simply won't do.
Apple put it this way in a help document:
"The Magic Keyboard's first version (A1998) is functionally compatible with the recent iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th generation) with Liquid XDR display. Because of the new iPad Pro's slightly thicker dimensions, the Magic Keyboard can not fit perfectly when closed, particularly if screen protectors are used."
Apple should have known the latest iPad Pro, with its mini-LED display, would be thicker than the one it was replacing, according to some critics. Perhaps it should have. And, knowing this, it should have planned the original Magic Keyboard accordingly, avoiding the need for this update.
We suppose that's possible — after all, Apple didn't choose the mini-LED display in January for a product due out in May. However, only Apple employees are aware of the answer to that question.
I believe that businesses make mistakes from time to time. A seemingly good decision (adopting a better display in a common product) can often overturn a previous good decision.
Sure, the Magic Keyboard is a fantastic accessory, but it's also very pricey. With that price tag comes the assumption that it will fit for future models for which it is meant to be an accessory.
Perhaps that isn't a reasonable assumption. To be honest, I believe there is an argument to be made on both sides of that particular fence. However, when businesses make these decisions and move on to the next big thing, it may be a good idea to show some goodwill to the consumers who were left behind but still want to keep up!
In this case, offering a trade-in service for the original Magic Keyboard is a simple way to get there. Of course, this is only for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro; Apple did not make any updates to the 11-inch iPad Pro.
Customers who purchased the original Magic Keyboard should be able to trade it in for the new one, so they don't have to worry about a bad match with their new, expensive tablet.